THE PERSO-AFGHAN QUESTION 451 suggested that Mirza Hashim might be sent to Shiraz as British Agent; but when this appointment was actually made he declared that, inasmuch as the man had never obtained a formal discharge from the service of the Persian Government, he was ineligible to hold any post under the British, and that his acceptance of the Agency would not be permitted. This objection was frivolous, for it is well known that in Persia formal discharges are unheard of, and the Sadr-i-Aazam added insult by arresting and detaining Mirza Hashim's wife. Mr. Murray, the newly- arrived Minister, agreed in the interests of peace that, if the Mirza were granted a slightly better paid post by the Persian Government, and if his safety were guaranteed and his wife restored to him, he would be discharged from the British service. Not only was this most reason- able proposal refused, but the unscrupulous Minister stated openly that the British representative had retained the Mirza simply on account of his wife. An offensive letter followed, in which a threat was made that, if the British flag were struck, there would be certain unpleasant revela- tions. The Minister finally broke off relations, and at the end of 1855 quitted Teheran. Weeks, and then months, passed without any communication from England. The Sadr-i-Aazam consequently began to think that he had triumphed over Mr. Murray, and in his somewhat premature exultation he resolved to gratify the national wish to obtain possession of Herat. The Anglo-Afghan Alliance^ 1855.—The threatening attitude of Persia towards Afghanistan caused Dost Mohamed to embrace cordially the idea of an alliance with Great Britain. Early in 1855 Sir John Lawrence concluded a treaty of perpetual peace and friendship1 with the representative of our erstwhile enemy, thereby ending the twelve years of hostility and suspicion which the First Afghan War had bequeathed as a legacy. The Change of Rulers at Herat, 1855.—Almost simul- taneously with the conclusion of this treaty, the situation in the Herat province underwent a radical change. Said Mohamed, who was totally unfitted to rule, was deposed 1 The text is given in Rawlinson's work, App. II.